Tuesday, December 06, 2005

'rights' can do you wrong

While driving my car this morning, I caught myself ignoring my own advice about avoiding complacency. Being that road conditions are suboptimal due to snow over the weekend, I should know better than to not give myself ample braking distance for collision avoidance when driving down a street with cars parked on either side. If any driver should suddenly pull out within a short distance of my car, even at 'normal' speed the results can be disastrous.

Yet that wasn't even contemplated in my head you see, because I was thinking that drivers cannot, yes, physically cannot pull their car out, since I have the 'right-of-way'. Of course, since I have 'right-of-way', drivers without it will always be 100% vigilant to triple-check before they assume possession over the road, and thus I will be able to sail down the street confidently, without the fear of getting swiped by a vehicle pulling out.

That is one of the problems with created 'rights'- they perpetrate a mentality that as long as the adherent is within 'rights', they are untouchable, when of course in reality, a driver struck by a car wrongly rushing into an intersection against the light, cannot then appeal to a metaphysical court of 'rights' to deny the car collision on the physical plane.

I don't want to label this 'rights' mentality as naive, after all don't we all make assumptions and have expectations regarding the behavior of others? (No, I don't make pretense to understanding game theory) And what I'm not saying is that car accidents should never happen; after all we're human, and are highly capable of making error in judgment.

What I'm trying to convey is that we would have less accidents and incidents if people stop treating socially-imagined rights as though they are laws of nature, such as gravity.

And if I may just sum this all up- I'd rather be safe, than right!

1 comment:

Vache Folle said...

My mom taught me to drive and instilled in me the idea that, not only are all the other drivers idiots, but I should assume that they are actively trying to kill me.